Info HP Z43 First Impressions

Oct 29, 2019
I got HP Z43 monitor, 43", 4K. At $710, it's irresistible. Other than a few user reviews on Amazon and Newegg and such, I couldn’t find a single professional review of this monitor. I’m not a professional monitor reviewer either, but here are my very first impressions if anybody’s interested.

This monitor is clearly intended for the office, and that’s exactly my intended use for it – writing software. It’s not for gaming, and it’s not for professional photo or video editing since it covers just 96% of sRGB and no more.

The appeal of this monitor is to use it with 100% scaling and get a huge screen. The pixel size is the same as on a standard 27” monitor: 0.245mm.

My current setup is: Dell U2715H (27”, 2560x1440), LG 32UD99-W (31.5”, 3840x2160, 100% scaling with my gasses, 120% without, YMMV), ThinkPad P70 (17”, 1920x1080, color calibrated).

So… first impressions: I’m not impressed.

This thing is HUGE, thick, and with bezels bigger than you would expect them to be in in this day and age. The stand has no height adjustment, the monitor sits very low. No speakers either. Firmware is not impressive. Like when scrolling through the preset modes, they don’t change to give you a preview – you only see a particular mode when you select it. Not very smart. I also got a warning that the USB-C cable I was using is not approved… despite the fact that it’s the original cable that came with the monitor. On the PC side, the HP Display Center promptly crashed.

Color quality is good, allegedly this monitor is factory calibrated. I’m not an artist, but colors looked comparable to my ThinkPad P70 which has a Pantone color calibrator. Less vivid, tho. For office work, videos, occasional movie, and amateurish photo and video editing, no problem.

Text quality is not so good. And that's a big drawback. Compared to the other 3 displays I have on my desk, this is by far the worst. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not atrocious, but I get the impression that this monitor was intended for the (pre-COVID) conference room and not someone’s desk. However, text quality is much better than on the 43", 4K, ASUS PG43UQ which is a gaming monitor (with the caveat that I didn't have those two monitors side by side so the comparison is from memory). Incidentally, the Asus is almost twice as expensive.

Subpixel arrangement is “RGB Vertical Stripe”.

As far as I can tell, there’s no PWM. I checked by taking a video of the screen and changing the brightness. It didn’t flicker.

At this point, I don’t see a compelling advantage of this monitor over my LG 32UD99-W and I see some disadvantages. I’m inclined to return it and check out Dell’s new 42.5”, 4K, U4320Q. From the research I did, it seems to use a very similar panel, but at least has a stand with height adjustment and speakers. Hopefully, better firmware, too.